Neil Young is rockin' in the Kickstarter world
Itâ€™s â€śafter the gold rushâ€ť once again for Neil Youngâ€”only this time the gold rush is more than $5 million in Kickstarter-raised funds for the 68-year-old singer-songwriterâ€™s new online digital music company.
Youngâ€™s PonoMusic crowdfunding campaign launched March 11 and, in slightly less than a month, has brought in $5.75 million, making it the third most funded campaign in Kickstarterâ€™s five-year history. Pono had raised $2 million of that in its first Kickstarter day alone.
The campaign has â€śexceeded our expectations,â€ť says PonoMusic CEO John Hamm.
â€ś[By using crowdfunding], we have been able to unveil PonoMusic our way - directly to our customers,â€ť Hamm says, adding that theyâ€™ve received more than 5,000 suggestions for Pono through the campaignâ€™s 16,000-plus donors. â€śThis is incredibly valuable consumer feedback and we will be a much better company [when we] launch.â€ť
Pono, a Hawaiian word for â€śrighteousnessâ€ť according to Young, will offer an online music store and audio playerâ€”but with digital downloads of a higher sound quality than available through other mp3 providers such as iTunes. Young has described his vision for PonoMusic downloads as being comparable to original â€śmasterâ€ť tapes captured live at studio recording sessions.
â€śHigh quality digital is wonderful to hear and sense,â€ť Young writes at Ponomusic.com. â€śIt is the sound of the 21st Century. Almost no one has heard it outside the studio.â€ť
Pono officials say its audio playersâ€”or, PonoPlayers--will be sold for $399 and will have the capacity to store between 1,000 and 2,000 hi-res digital music albums. The albums themselves will supposedly cost between $14.99 and $24.99.
No word yet as to when the Pono online music store will officially open.
Check out the above clip of Young unveiling a prototype PonoPlayer on The Late Show with David Letterman" in 2012.